This year’s WTO Public Forum focused on the following theme ‘Trading Forward: Adapting to a Changing World’. As the largest annual outreach event, the forum provides a unique platform for heads of states, parliamentarians, leading global businesspeople, academics and non-governmental organisations to come together and debate on the shape of the future trading system.
At this event, we hosted panel discussions with high-level speakers from the European Youth Forum and the International Trade Centre. In his introduction, President Christian Ewert highlighted that amfori was one of the first associations to observe sustainable development trends when we set-up amfori BSCI in 2003. From then on, amfori never stopped working towards creating sustainable supply chains through improving social and environmental performance in farms and factories.
amfori values the youth’s engagement in line with our objective to “Inspire action around the world and Grow high-performing people to become the leaders of a sustainable tomorrow.”
Discussions highlighted the youth’s call for a paradigm shift that would put sustainability first before economic growth, but it appears that young people are still struggling to make themselves heard in trade discussions. At the same time, retailers are becoming increasingly aware of this trend. According to an ITC study, 98% of retailers confirm they consider sustainability in product sourcing and 92% of them expect sales of sustainable products to increase in the coming years.
Millennials and Generation Z are expected to represent over half of the World’s population in 2020. In Europe, they represent about 17% of the population, i.e. 88 million individuals, which takes the sustainability of products very seriously. One of the objectives of the forum was to find out what will this new generation of traders, policymakers, citizens, and consumers expect from the future trading system.